Prototype Silver Cloud

This was the first shoot with Classic Cars very own Quentin Wilson. It was a pleasure to work with Quentin and to get an insight into this special Rolls which he helped to gather more info on the car and subsequently acquire for its current owner.

The prototype of which only 26 were created of this lengthened Cloud.

With the original brochure we couldn’t let the opportunity pass without capturing a few images.

We started at Ian’s (Cloud owner) business address as it had an interesting period façade but enough greenery and space in the carpark to shoot the details and some interaction images as above. I wouldn’t have normally added this image with my edit as there’s distinct pointing going on….but just because of the genuine laughter and interaction between friends.

For the driver it was comfort but this statement of a car was always taking the comfort of its rear passengers as paramount to its opulence.

For its age the seamless technology of the discreet screen to create a silent cocoon for its VIP riders.

The walnut dash and trim about this rolls was highly polished and with that …..highly reflective. So a little time spent trying to place the small flashguns and strobe’s to minimise some unwanted hotspots.

As well as Quentin driving the car which you can see later on this image to show the rear and the comfort was a main shot for the article. This image above wasn’t the final image that was used but for me just worked with the expression, lighting, seeing the tree in the background to help with the motion… for me just conveyed the kernel of the story of this special Cloud.

As well as capturing some images which would suit the opening DPS, the owner mentioned of another contact in the area with a house that could be of use as a backdrop for the Rolls.

Well if Rowington Hall once owned by Henry VIII isn’t opulent enough then I don’t know what is. So as we arrived we thanked how things had gone and started to shoot the car against the hall. As well as being simplistic, clean, elegant, the door for me just caught my eye being not to far from the Rolls’s roof colour.

Just letting the car sit there and not trying hard at all but just to let the Hall and Cloud help each other out to enhance each others beauty.

I took just a couple of different images as an opening DPS and thought that this was a strong contender for the opening image. No lights, just natural daylight and being overcast just helped to diffuse and help to highlight the lines on the stretched Cloud.

As well as having Quentin in the image I shot a few frames pulled back to gift a little more statement of the house without loosing the Rolls.

Again just to give more options I sent the Rolls around the drive which was a perfect oval in order to grab a few panning shots.

With these four images above it was just letting my mind wander and with the rolls being such a size it wasn’t hard to miss. So with the large windows of the Hall it was a nice opportunity to grab a few images ‘left of field’ and off the brief to keep the mind and options open.

Not the most nimble of cars so the tracking images just needed to show the car grinding through the sweeping roads.

More than adequate the images above for the DPS but the rear would have been in the gutter but the story is all about the length and rear stretched element of the Rolls.

I did warn Quentin that the power of my Zafira diesel was something to behold… again was good to have those moments chatting generally and enjoying seeing the car and its lines.

Simple interior driving image…. I do recall an Audi driving squeezing us tight against parked cars as he was on a mission to get through a built up village. I learnt that day what ‘Audi’ stood for…. thanks Quentin : )

A great day and shoot, no frills, no nonsense, good conversation, great car, engaging owner……. happy days. One to remember.

Capri Cover

Third cover in a row for Classic Cars Magazine marking the 50th anniversary of a British favourite….

As ever the group tracking is mainly for the cover shot, maybe a DPS and also to get a closing rear shot.

A few examples of some of the images sent to the mag for the cover.

Full frame image with final cover selection….

We shot the pairings both on the outer track and also the inner handling road…. aka ‘the snake’ The pairs were in their Mk’s pairs.

Enjoyed this shoot because it challenged you to look beyond the fact it was 6 Capri’s and top try and pick out the details and feel of each Mk.

The image below is the set up (kindly taken by the owner!) of the images above. Just a single flash head firing through the opposite door.

A decent shoot, Capri’ed out for the day…. some images taken that day that I’m happy with : )

Accelerators Group Test

At the time of shooting this group test I didn’t know that this would be the middle of three covers in a row for Classic Cars Magazine.

The group tracking for the opening DPS and cover we got straight on with.

Chosen opening DPS…

These cars have plenty of details around the bodywork so plenty of options to shoot from. Can’t remember if the corvette was selected in the brief for the lead car …. either way the higher ZR logo gave a nice lead into the other cars.

Fairly tight group… gave instructions before setting off each lap and then just got the corvette to manoeuvre around to get various angles to fit into a DPS.

The layout below fo the final spreads…

Super Saloons Cover Shoot

Its taken me too long to write a few lines about this cover shoot down in Longcross…..

Back in July it was in the middle of the fantastic summer we had and we had 5 classic saloons to shoot for a cover for Classic Cars. The brief was fairly specific for the cover… it was going to run with the Merc as a single cover but with a small group of the other cars as an inset on the cover.

The image below is the small group of 4 for the cut out…. Tried a few different angles and focal lengths. you can see the stray car in the right of frame…. knew this would be only used as a cut out so no need min moving it.

We added the Merc within the group and shifted the cars around so we could get a final group shot.

Details, Interiors, engine images for each car before we set off on getting the cover and tracking shots.

This Audi was in mint condition and for me would be my choice out if this lot. 🙂

The Jag had plenty of nice details to be able to get some interesting angles.

Like I said the cover was always going to be the mere as a single tracking shot. Below are a few options that made the cutting floor …

The final cover and layout above with the group shot from above inset.

The original image below and then the over lay of the final cover to show you what was used and added.

Really do like the D810 as you can used half a frame and still get more than enough detail for a full page image. Again you can see I leave the images with enough in them so they can be tweaked more by the art editor.

You’ll be surprised just how much gets filmed at Longcross with its test circuit. Theres a scene from Transformers I spotted a while back but the most recent one I’ve seen is a Vauxhall advert which is currently on TV now shot here.

Running with the sun and shooting all around the track to give a bit of different flavour. However the cover image I mainly shot on the straight as the sun was directly on the from of the blue merc.

Along with the owners of the cars we had another photographer …. Racheal (you can check her instagram out… @rpautomotivephotography) who took a few images of me out the boot of the Andrews (journalists) car….. (thats Racheal 🙂

The image below was taken on the run whilst Racheal took these images. I do have a harness as you can see and used it as the rear seatbelts in the car were too long at full extension. Just find that seat belts can be easier to use than the harness. Don’t worry I’m never not strapped in somehow.

The image above looks like I’ve got my finger over the lens….. just turning the polariser to see whats giving me the best look for the merc and BMW.

With the shoot rounding up and some cars already left we had to get a driving shot of Andrew and so the Merc was a great choice with its light interior and giant sun-roof.

In no particular order the final layout below…


288 GTO

The day was crisp and still in the stunning Scottish boarders… With a 288 GTO looking good against moorland backdrop the day was set up to be a good one 🙂

The first call was a single track snaking up above a remote reservoir to get some statics for a possible opener. It turned out none of these images we shot up there made the final article so here are a few more images from the early stages of the day.

Trying a few different angles and compositions to see what fit best on a DPS. With the light been so flat it helped to balance out the light sky and the midnight black colour of the GTO!

Tried a few more wider shots to get the scenery in…… one thing became apparent was the purchase of some radios which I had in mind to do before this shoot but confirmed my decision to go ahead and get some when I got back home that evening! On the image above sent them way down the valley and when I tried to wave them up as I had no phone signal whatsoever to get them to come up it proved an issue!

Again just trying a few more wider shots as I knew we would be getting tighter tracking shots later on in the day.

Run back to the car after the shot above to follow them then onto another location to start the tracking shots …

Found a decent section of road about 1 mile long with a few bends to have a few runs up and down to get some low shots. The double white lines in gives you another option for a focal element in the shot.

These two images above on the same short run to show that you try and get slightly different angles / height of the camera to get different feels to the shot.

Couple of pans from the same stretch of road from each side to use the advantage of the height of the banking and three the barrier on the other side.

The full framed image above and the final crop of the DPS below…

Once we had the main tracking in the bag we then started on the interiors and detail shots. Three shots above from the same position, just different focal lengths and angles…

With the light being nice and flat helped with the dark interior…

A few other details, taking in the striking yellow decals and Ferrari badges.

Another journalist I’ve worked with many times is a few inches taller than me and as I’m 6’3″ its a tight squeeze into the cabin even with the seat as far back… not much room with both of us in there !

With just getting a clear rear shot in the bag this would see the shoot concluded. Two shots up you can see the tracking vehicle in the bottom right hand corner. I normally leave that in so the mag / art editor can see the full frame and if it needs removing it can be done if chosen for the final edit.

The image above was used in the final edit but I took out the telegraph poles and tidied it up a little…. see the edit below.


The final layout above… was a few months back now but it ended with a bit of drama. A little further up that road on the final rear shot shown we pulled over to finish off. As the car with the journalist set off I suddenly remembered he had my mobile phone as I had lent it to him as I had a better signal… ah well. I had no way of contacting him until I got home some 5 hours later.

My phone landed through my door a few days later…. Happy days : )

v8 TR7

A little Life Cycle shoot for Classic Cars Magazine and this time its about a TR7 with some history…

Nice sounding rover v8, as it rolls off the trailer. A couple of tracking images front and rear in the bag early doors.

Short track with some trees to give it a forrest rally feel / look?!

Like the image above but would have been better with the lights off!

Only seven pages and about half are taken up with images and other documents from its past life. having the owner showing the reader around the car is the style for these images above.

Liked the rough and ready interior of the TR7 and the ‘soft’ dash covering helped in cutting down sunlight and flash flare… the only panel I needed to watch out for was the panel with the starter switch – just in front of the gear stick.

The engine would feature heavily on this article and so shooting vertical and landscape in order the option was there for a full pager as well as half page.

Liked the grill and the decals so had a little play with them…

Simple 3/4 shot just in case. As a side note the bonnet looks like its not shut but thats deliberate so the engine gets more ventilation.

A couple of pans to see the profile of the car before we head back to the owners base so we can shoot some of the historical documents of the car.

Of of the documents that weren’t used in the final article is this flyer for the rally car… The best title ‘Control Capsule’ … love it, plus the Leyland ‘Lego’ helmet 🙂


The final layouts…

Until next batch of blogs …


70s Grand Tourers – Classic Cars Magazine

Another cover shoot at Longcross, Surrey,  another long day of shooting 5+ cars… the day was baking and the sun was high and relentless… still it beats working for a living 🙂

Started the day off with getting the statics and details done for each of the cars, as some the cars naturally come staggered a little. It just means you can get started straight away to use as much time as possible.

I try and get the car to drive around me while I look at how the shadows appear in the cabin from the sun and choose as best as angle thats as sympathetic as possible.

Still black interior on a bright sunny day needs the most ‘lifting’…

Don’t mind the door being opened on this Capri as I think the light is coming over my last shoulder and so the pedals are light by daylight…

Tried this 911 through the door as shown above and also through the sunroof but the angle was too acute.

The Citroën SM was just as intriguing to look at under the hood than the rest of it!

The cover shot…. below the original shot and then overlaid.


I’ll let you have a look and see what post work was carried out from the image I supplied to the finished cover 🙂

Once the statics and the cover group tracking was done we moved onto the head to head shoots. I must say we did the Jag and Aston above just before the group tracking as we were still waiting for cars to turn up. It was a good job as just after the group tracking was done the Jag decided it had had enough for the day… but we had one more shot to do with it… we’ll come to that later on.

Must say not was a really funny view from the boot of the mighty Zafira boot seeing these cars head to head.

Its a great private location this and I wouldn’t really think this would be possible else where. I don’t like to get of manual but was tempted he as you come in and out of very harsh sunlight every second…. just the very few occasions I do let the camera do some of the work.

This SM and 911 just for me looked funny 🙂

The last shot we had to shoot with all the cars was the opening group static shots… but with the Jag a non runner now.

We had an idea of the layout and so put the jag in first… by hand and so the other owners all piled in and we got it in and just let it then pulled the remaining cars around it. You can see the various street furniture thats been shopped out for the final DPS (below).

Last but not least, taking a few images of the cars individually. This is where we can take the cars that need to get off first and then release them one by one…

here are the layouts of the final article…

Another cover shoot and its always a good feeling to get a cover on the shelf.

until next time


DBS at 50

This was a good shoot for me in the sense that it was my first cover for Classic Cars. Happy with any covers but shoot a lot for Classic Cars over the past few years it was nice to get the opportunity to shoot a cover shoot.

Down in Surrey its a decent distance for me and being a cover shoot with 7 cars all arranged with owners to come together in one place the emphasis is on you to get the job in the bag. This upped the anti a little for me and I found myself building up the pressure as well.


This article is 19 pages long and so being my first cover shoot for CC I was eager to see the final spreads and which images were used and how…..the usual stuff as I keep mentioning on my blog.

The image above was the first hint of the article which was a full page ad in the Decembers issue showing whats coming up in the Jan’s issue. Happy days…


The original image above un-cropped / full frame… and you can see the slight tweak with the car spacing.

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Well here it is…(if you’ve not see it before! or not seen my Instagram feed)… From left to right, the final image as submitted to the mag, Then an overlay of the final cover to show the crop and then the full front cover.

Really happy with this and a few pointers to learn for next time … I shoot on a D810 for magazine work due to it giving me 35mb+ per image so that you can crop heavy into an image and still have plenty of resolution to print with (something I’ll mention later on)

From camera to the first car it may look not that close but it’ll be no more than 2 meters away.


Image above was in fact capturing a run for a cover alternative but in the end was the opening DPS cropped to a landscape, again showing why the nikon D810 is useful as it packs plenty of pixels into the frame and allows for some serious cropping if needed.

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The first order of the day was to start on the individual images of the cars as we were waiting for the last car to turn up. As there was 7 cars and plenty to shoot we needed to get started soon as. A little production line, a front 3/4 shot, engine bay and interior plus and details that were interesting or unique for that particular DBS.

All was going well until about 4 cars in when the clouds came over and decided to dump a lot of rain! Owners seeking refuge in their cars or diving into the trees for about 40 mins while it past. Thankfully my sunroof was open for only 10 mins until it was pointed out to me!!!!

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Eventually when all the details were done (apart from the last car which turned up) we needed to get on and capture the other images. Pairing off the cars we made a few passes along whats know as the ‘Snake’ at the private location. All these are un-cropped so when you get your copy of the mag you can see how they’ve cropped into them.

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Having three pairs and a single car predetermined you need to keep a variety of images so when printed a good selection of images and atmosphere is achieved… I’ll leave that for you to decide on how I did…

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A few more images that were shot for the cover and one for a possible DPS.


The Aston Works 4 door Lagonda was the easiest choice for being the single car… Here are a few more images that didn’t make the final edit….

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Took more side on shots for this to try and show the four door configuration… Again always little a bit of sunlight 🙂

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This one above was the one that made the article… sunlight as it was and not added.

Since this shoot I’ve shot another cover shoot at the came location and I do like it but you can go from heavy shadow to harsh sunlight within a split second so it does keep you on your toes!


Once all the tracking shots were done the last thing was to shoot each car and do some panning shots…


Just sending the cars back and forth, running to a new location each time to keep things varied. Getting both wide shots and tight shots of different cars.



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The overall winner of the bunch…. this image taken early doors in the shoot… before all the rain!!!!

Only took nearly 5 hours to drive back from this shoot!!!

Until next time…




Lamborghini Countach – Epic Restoration

Its not everyday you turn up to a garage which has 4 Miura’s, 2 Countach and a few other original Lamborghini’s around the shop…. well we are only a few miles from the Lamborghini factory….

In the current issue of Classic Cars Magazine, this was another European quick trip to grab images then back again. The guy who owned the shop was the son of an ex Lamborghini employee of some 30 years. You quickly feel the passion of the people around here that it was almost a family ‘business’, not this shop as it was but working in the factory were generations from the same family.

The level of detail and restoration was incredible.


This was the first shot we took from a mezzanine floor…. didn’t really lack any colours! The lighting was funny in this place, plenty of daylight from the main shutter doors but it had florescent strip lights behind tinged perspex panels then on top of that there were skylights which had the same perspex over…. Plus the vibrant colours of the motors had to try and get the colour temp right in camera as much as possible.



You can see the final DPS and the original image I submitted, full frame without cropping. There was plenty of floor for the text / title. wanted to use the yellow Countach in the foreground to give a bit more depth.

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My Italian is about 0.001%…. and these guys English about the same… so thankfully we had someone with us to act as an interpreter. Well I just needed to find the shots and shoot !


These three images of them chatting didn’t make the final article but lets you capture and show the process whilst on these jobs.


Not knowing where the facial expression will come as you can’t understand the language was interesting but got enough….

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As I said this car was clean and immaculate which was good as I think the article touched upon it that well over £2m was spent on this project.


This was one of the main cars as a lad you had on your wall. Even now it still is beyond its time, the extreme design can still hold itself now and will continue into the future…

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After a few hand gestures, nods and such they got to know what ‘tinkering’ was to capture this shot…. just tinker with the engine etc etc…


I’ve shot a few “whats you favorite, or whats the most invaluable tool you have?”…. normally its like a really old funny sized spanners that is specifically designed for one nut on a re-build etc etc…. not knowing what would come out of the depths of a back room. This giant radiator key!!!!!! once shown I was upto speed…..doh!

A fantastic experience, we saw more places but didn’t make the final article.

I got to ride in this Lamborghini with a special driver at the wheel ; ) …… will blog about that when that one comes out : )



E-Type – The Pilgrimage

For me the E-Type holds a little more for me than just a beautiful, elegant and stylish designed British automotive icon. Back in 1996…wow 20 years ago… I was sourcing classic cars for a project whilst on my penultimate Photographic course / qualification. One of the cars being a maroon coloured E-Type. Even back then I knew I wanted to shoot cars and I think I’ve not shot another E-Type until this E-Type from CMC.

So every time I see an E-Type that image of the maroon E-Type in front of some stately home in Yorkshire whose name I’m ashamed I can’t recall!!! I have a rye smile, a little satisfaction and personal encouragement… so thank you Jaguar E-Type…

Anyway the day before was a nice blue skied, still day which as we sat (myself and Ross) that evening over a drink thinking we could be on a good n here… Short lived! The next morning it was persistent rain and a ‘nice’ flat sky…


This was a new kind of feature for Classic Cars Mag called the Pilgrimage. Mainly based around a good decent drive, so the emphasis on driving imagery was at the forefront.

Thankfully the rain held up for about an hour with just the odd few spots and with the help of a good stretch of road being over shadowed by some trees it felt dry. If the sky is flat then I try and get some trees like these so that the sky itself plays the minimal part in the shots. Plus the more objects to the side and height of the car helps to accentuate the sense of speed.

The image above was one of a number of DPS images submitted but in the end they went with the images below.

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Again I tweaked the final images but still with a little room for the mag to go one or two ways but here I’m pleased the crop was right on the ball park.

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The few above were different options for page fillers be it a full single page or 3/4 but with the amount of pixels within the D810 image you could still crop for a DPS out of these.

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The two images above were full frame and especially the landscape image with the front of my car in the frame. I’d leave this in so the art editor could see what he has to play with. If I’d have cropped it out from the bottom then that would reduce the amount of options for this image. With leaving it in a text box, or graphic could have been placed over the bottom right hand corner to cover the bonnet.

Also there was no real point in trying to get a really low angled image due to the fact that as soon as you get your camera down there the spray from the surface water would be nicely washing the front of the lens before you could get into position.


The rain began to get heavier and so we needed to get some more panning shots in the bag before we were driven inside.


I think the light colour of the car helped against the green of the trees, again another reason for finding trees as a back drop so the car wouldn’t get lost in the flat sky.


Just like the last blog about the DKW I found myself again with another tall co-worker (Ross), but this time getting my 6’3″ folded into the boot of this E-Type. Not just to play it safe but with a camera in one hand and a flash as well I couldn’t be getting loads of angles from this position…

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Back inside now at CMC the 2nd part of the article was to see behind the scenes at this impressive automotive shop. This reminded me so much of my work over the years with Morgan dating back to 1999 and more recently the re-visit in 2014.

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Majority of work undertaken for restorations and re-builds are all in house from body work, upholstery, engine re-builds and more…

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Nick Goldthorp (above) talking through the history right through to the day to day running of CMC.

Was interesting to see the Jag MkII which was designed by Ian Callum and engineered / built by CMC which you can see here.

Really interesting to see and be in a place with such skill and dedication in keeping these cars on the road.

I must say a big thank you to CMC and the guys there who were more than willing to help get the shots needed.